There's a reason it's called Global Warming

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Last week, an environmental group, Environment Iowa, held a press conference where they released a study that they said shows that global warming is occurring in Iowa.

Among the study's findings:

In Sioux City, it was 2.1 degrees higher than average from June to August 2006 when compared to comparable periods from 1971-2000. The average temperature in 2006 in Des Moines was 3.5 degrees higher than the average from 1971-2000. In Waterloo the average minimum temperatures, or the lowest recorded temperature on a given day, were 2.6 degrees higher than the average from 1971-2000. In Dubuque, the temperature from 2000 to 2006 was about 1.2 degrees higher than it was from 1971 to 2000.

These findings, along with a hot and dry summer in 2007 (following a cold and damp spring), are sure signs that Iowa is under the effects of Global Warming.

Funny thing about statistics, they can quite often be used to make the case for or against a topic, depending on your viewpoint and agenda. How about getting some perspective on the issue from someone who has seen trends come and go, like State Climatologist Harry Hillaker?

In a telephone interview, state climatologist Harry Hillaker cautioned that reading too much into weather averages could be tricky and wasn't a surefire sign that global warming was under way.

"It certainly would be better to use more locations to prove that," Hillaker said. " But I don't really think they are cherry picking the sites. Given the history I can see why they chose these four."

Hillaker said that temperatures in Iowa had gradually risen over the last hundred or so years, although they've been higher at times, particularly in the 1940s.

However well intended these folks are, it simply stands to reason that if in fact GLOBAL WARMING is occurring, it would be happening all over the planet, including here in Iowa.

Using these few statistics doesn't tell the whole story.